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Bi-partisanship on Iraq may be difficult

The White House will soon be presented a number of options on Iraq.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2006 11:29 IST

In an indication of how tough bi-partisanship is going to be on Iraq, differences between two senior lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee came in the open about how the Bush administration should proceed in a war.

The White House will soon be presented a number of options on Iraq and one of them from the Pentagon will suggest that the United States adopt the "go big" strategy, which is one of injecting more troops in and around Baghdad with a view to containing the insurgency.

"...Criminal enterprises in Iraq of all stripes, whether it's smuggling oil or kidnappings and extorting ransom or other criminal activities are what are financing the insurgency.

That's why I believe we have to go big, in the terms of the Pentagon," Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas said on CNN's Late Edition.

"We have to surge additional force there so that we cannot only clear areas in Baghdad but we can actually hold them," he added.

"...I think we're talking about 20-50,000 more troops to embed them with the Iraqis, so that when we clear areas, we can actually secure them.

Then we need to disarm the militias. We need to arrest al-Sadr and make sure the government has a monopoly on the use of legal force," he said.

His Democratic colleague Jack Reed of Rhode Island sharply disagreed saying that adding more troops is not going to make any difference.

"I think 20,000 extra troops would probably not be decisive in terms of changing the political dynamic and the security dynamic in Iraq," he said.

First Published: Nov 27, 2006 11:29 IST